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Property prices in Ecuador

Hello everyone,

Finding affordable housing in Ecuador is number one priority for newcomers. Tell us more about the estate market in your district/city/region.

What are the most desired places to live? What are the most affordable ones? What is the average cost of a rented flat? And what is the average sale price for an appartment or a house? Could you tell us more about local real estate policies/procedures? What about property tax or residency tax in Ecuador?

What about you? Where do you live now? Is it a place you would recommend?

Thank you in advance for your clarifications.

Priscilla

That is a rather grandiose topic and one that even the most seasoned real estate agent would probably avoid jumping on because there really is no complete answer.  Also because any answer is one a professional would undoubtedly be held to!

In fact, only someone trying to pull a fast one...with a low ball price and a "too good to be true" offer is going to respond with the facts and figures you are requesting.

The other reason to put out a query like that would be to prepare one of those popular but quickly dated and therefore useless pamphlets or E.books for expats to be on "Everything You Need To Know..." about Moving to Living In Retiring To but were afraid to ask in person because someone might laugh at you...here's a 100 bits of information to scare you and so forth...  Hey, I know the guy who writes those books.  I´m even IN those books.  They really get old fast. 

If you want ballpark prices and idea, dow what is the most logical in any location.  Review what the locals do.

10 Years ago this would be looking at the newspaper advertisements, talking to friends and neighbors, and of course visiting the areas you want to live and scoping the neighborhood for weeks, months and even years.

These days we have the opportunity to look on the Internet.

But here is a huge hint.  Local folks do not look at advertisements in English.  You want to look at ads placed in Spanish.

Don´t speak Spanish?  Use Google Translate.

Pull up a Google Map

And hit Plusvalia and OLX and Mercardo Libre.

If you want to see what is being sold or rented ...often times in the very same areas to the Gringo market and see the markup...compare what you find to what is being markets to the gringo market on Viviun, the Ecuador MLS, and Craigslist.

You may also want to mark down just which Real Estate folks and companies are in fact marking up their products for you gringo consumers and keep that handy.  It will help you avoid dealing with them when you actually do come to Ecuador looking for a place to live.

You´ll probably hear this when you get here... it´s originally one of my saying for a long time:

The most dangerous animal you will meet in Ecuador...is a Gringo with a Business Card...and not all the Sharks, swim in the Ocean!

I´m Susan, here in Montañita...here in my little garden apartment walk up.  Needs some work but at $250 a month with wifi, a terrace, and a balcony looking out on the beach, it´s pretty nice.  Not for everyone, it´s pretty basic to start.

I am the former manager of  the Ocean Hideaway near Salinas  for the past 8 plus years (and current owner of the property) and I am a professional consultant advising folks about the realities of living here on the coast of Ecuador. 

Susan

Finding affordable housing in Ecuador is number one priority for newcomers. Tell us more about the estate market in your district/city/region.

I live in north-centro Quito and I'll share my perspective of this area.

What are the most desired places to live?

In this area it's all good especially the financial district, Tenis, Gonzalez Suarez, Granda Centeno, Batan, Batan Bajo, Rumipamba, La Pradera, Bosque, Floreana, Eloy Alfaro, La Floresta, and for some La Marisical. There are other neighborhoods that appear desirable but I'm sharing personal experience and areas I visit.

What is the average cost of a rented flat?

On average for non-furnished properties in a well-kept building it's approximately:

Suite/1 Bedroom $450+
2 Bedroom $550+
3 Bedroom $700+

And what is the average sale price for an apartment or a house?

Prices are all over the place and I don't even want to really get into it. Some newer buildings will ask for as much as $2000 per square meter. Given the seismic activity and developers heeding the demand for properties that are earthquake proof the higher prices will reflect buildings that are relativity earthquake-proof or at least to a certain magnitude. But starting at $1000+ per square meter is normal for this area. 

Is it a place you would recommend?

It's Ecuadorean but the mentality is quite cosmopolitan. This is why I love big cities because as foreigners we’re just a drop in a bucket and essentially fit in. The people are friendly, receptive, and if initially reserved, they are outgoing once they know you. This is of course provided you know some Spanish and have an outgoing personality yourself.  So, from a people perspective, yes.

It’s safe, and also a great area if you like everything nearby, restaurants, bars, parks galore. The airport is 30-40 minutes away by car/taxi, and a $2 mini-express bus from Rio Coca is less than an hour away.

What’s great about centro-north Quito is it’s not overwhelming, the only drawback that I’m experiencing is there is pollution on main streets, especially those with bus traffic. It’s important that people understand this and choose a residence between major streets. Another drawback it's probably one of the most expensive areas in the country in terms of buying things, example don't be shocked if a $0.50 humita costs $2.50 in a cafe.

I'm in TONSUPA, Esmeraldas. A great tranquil place.
All sort of properties in this area, from single houses, to Villas, Apartments and Penthouses in high rise buildings facing the Ocean.
Average price :  Approx. $1,000.00 / per square meter. Prices will get higher or lower according to location and finishing.
Last year I bought a small Villa (3 bedroom- Bungalow) in a small complex composed of only 13 units, located three block from the beach; paid $68,000.00.  Prior to that I owned a 2 bedroom apartment in the same area; paid $48,000.00.

No gringo communities in this "hidden paradise".  Suitable for people seeking Peace and Tranquility ( except for long weekends when City folks invade the nearby beaches.)

MM

With many condo's badly damaged from the earthquake in Manta, and mine was damaged so bad that it has been torn down. I moved to Santa Marianita, 15 minutes south of Manta. A great Town-Home on the beach, built with the most modern methods that are earthquake and sound proof, with great insulation. Two stories with roof terrace, 163 M2 two bedrooms, 2 ½ bath, solar hot water! Fantastic!   At a reasonable price at just under $1,000 p/M2
It is nice to have many Cabana's (restaurants) to choice from, if you don't feel like cooking, specially a nice lunch for $3.00
The beach stretches over 5 km, perfect for your daily exercise.

DutchCanMen :

With many condo's badly damaged from the earthquake in Manta, and mine was damaged so bad that it has been torn down. I moved to Santa Marianita, 15 minutes south of Manta. A great Town-Home on the beach, built with the most modern methods that are earthquake and sound proof....

No offense, Dutchman, but your story doesn’t make sense to me.

It’s not that I don’t believe you.  I do.

But if my condo was damaged earlier this year in an earthquake on the coast, I wouldn’t consider buying in the same metro area no matter how modern the construction was said to be or how great the beach is.

Why didn’t you rent this time?

Did you get insurance money to assist you in the new purchase?

cccmedia, condo owner in Quito

DutchCanMen :

With many condo's badly damaged from the earthquake in Manta, and mine was damaged so bad that it has been torn down. I moved to Santa Marianita, 15 minutes south of Manta. A great Town-Home on the beach, built with the most modern methods that are earthquake and sound proof, with great insulation. Two stories with roof terrace, 163 M2 two bedrooms, 2 ½ bath, solar hot water! Fantastic!   At a reasonable price at just under $1,000 p/M2
It is nice to have many Cabana's (restaurants) to choice from, if you don't feel like cooking, specially a nice lunch for $3.00
The beach stretches over 5 km, perfect for your daily exercise.

Wondering how the port facilities are looking in Mantra these days, might be taking a cruise next year with a stop there.

How can you predict if an earthquake will ever hit again in the same area? I visited in January, Santa Marianita and did not find it awesome as the Dutchman here is trying to tell us, i particularly fell in love with the beach in Canoa, opposite Bahia de Caraquez. Although it's quite and secluded you can still enjoy the best mojitos at a fraction of the cost in Manta and walk along the best kilometers of white sandy beach in Manabi. Bahia was still looking in need of rebuilding but I found convenient the Mall with all the shops and food offering. And we very much enjoyed cycling from Canoa to San Vicente for a refreshing coconut ice-cream and the fresh seafood diners at Bamboo restaurant in Canoa.

IsabellaFR :

How can you predict if an earthquake will ever hit again in the same area?

Earthquakes are not predictable. 

1.  Don't buy property on the Pacific Coast's Ring of Fire, including the damaged coastal areas of Ecuador.

2.  If you choose to live in such areas, rent in a building where your due diligence shows that modern earthquake-resistant construction methods were used.

cccmedia

Your comment interests me. The phrase 'due diligence' especially. As a builder/developer I wouldn't know how to get that done in Latin America to my satisfaction, meaning such that I could sleep at night. Having built expensive homes in Vancouver on that ring of fire, I wonder, as a renter, is the framing properly tied to the concrete according some code that works? (It's a question). You would never know. I would probably be only comfortable in a house that i built or supervised building, with some hands-on. An earthquake would not take my structure down. But then there's landslides. I really think it would make me crazy to build in Ecuador, and its just a notion I have, nothing grounded in reality. It's tempting from a distance, but then how many days do we have on this planet, and how do we spend them. Life is full of hard questions.

About a year ago when I was researching property in the Tenis area of Quito, I came upon a building under construction that was supposed to withstand an 8 magnitude earthquake. The price difference between the units at that earthquake proof building and similar units in the same area was about 40-50%. This building could have had additional amenities and with a more "luxurious/lujo" finish but that was the difference.

You can buy, but only if its dirt cheap.....If its not dirt cheap then rent, rent, rent........and walk away when youve had enuff........$1000 a sq mtr is rediculous.....utterly rediculous......especially in that zone......dont even consider it.........thats a $100,000 for a small 100 sq mtr house or apt or condo........way too much money.......for too little.....I just sold 2.5 hects of Panama high country with custom 100 sq mtr house with ocean views between 2 river canyons.....for slightly more than that......over time...........eazy to buy.....hard to sell........just rent for awhile and get the feel of it......and then make your decision.........I too prefer Canoa....its a sweet spot......Beware of Montanita.......its for backpackers and party animals, not serious people.....

I absolutely understand your point, but the prices will only escalate because this part of Quito is valuable and limited. This area is essentially Manhattan in NYC, so prices will continue to escalate. So it’s not nearly about present returns (ROI), but more so about the future, and the buyers are Ecuadorians. In this part of Quito prices will never be lower.

"Prices will never be lower"?  Sounds like "the party will never end" school of thought......Meantime the plug is being pulled on the N.Y. and Miami luxury top end real estate market as we speak.....Hedge funds are either being closed and money returned to investors or theyre betting the market short......You think a major recession/depression in the U.S. wont affect Ecuador? Ecuador has already been slammed to the wall int he last few years becuz of the collapse in oil prices and then the earthquake......What % of Ecuadorean elite can afford to pay stupid prices for the upscale properties of Quite when the entire world is mired in a recession?

The mentality is simply different here and you can talk about property prices in the rest of the world and how they are affected by recession until you are blue in the face. But the reality is the actual prices of property and while rent has decreased the price of buying in this area of Quito which is approximately 5 square miles or from bosque to the end of gaspar de villaorel down to la floresta is pricey and highly coveted.

Have you lived in Quito? If not you won’t understand. There’s Ecuador, there’s quito and then there’s this area. It’s extremely valuable. The concentration of malls, banks, offices, restaurants, bars, cinemas, etc is considerable compared to the rest of the country with the exception of Guayaquil which I’m sure has similar sectors that are also highly valued.

So I was at Bellavista this week and came upon a new building with a sign in front.  This is an area inside the 5 square miles I previous mentioned. Bellavista is actually an area that is tier 3 or 4  in this area, definitely after Tenis and the valley areas around Carolina. Hey, it’s a lovely area, but definitely too steep (hilly) for me but it’s close to parque metropolitiano and of course malls, cinemas, nightlife, and the area is quiet.

How much?

$1000 per square meter.

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